how to shift gears on a motorcycle

How to shift gears on a motorcycle is one of the most important processes if you want to ride your motorcycle. Although it might seem like a challenge to master, practice is the key ingredient in mastering how to shift gears on a motorcycle.

 How you shift gears depends on two things. Whether your motorcycle has a semi-automatic transmission or a manual transmission.

 Before you can learn how to shift gears on a motorcycle, you need to know the three parts of the motorcycle that are involved in shifting gears. They are the clutch lever, gear shift lever, and the throttle.

  The clutch lever

how to shift gears on a motorcycle

 The clutch lever is usually located in the front of the left handgrip. It is responsible for disengaging and engaging the power from the engine to the rear wheel.  Once you squeeze the clutch lever, it fully disengages the power from the motorcycle engine to the rear wheel and that stops the motorcycle from moving forward no matter how much you roll on the throttle. 

The gear shift lever

how to shift gears on a motorcycle

 The gear shift lever is located on the lower left side of your motorcycle. Gears are usually changed with the left foot. The gear pattern is designed with the first gear at the bottom, then followed by the neutral, first second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth gear in some cases.  Each click If you lift the gear leave up, you have shifted to a higher gear. One-click is equal to one gear.

The throttle

how to shift gears on a motorcycle

  In an internal combustion engine, the throttle is a means of controlling the amount of fuel or air entering the engine. 

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 The throttle in a motorcycle is located at the right end of the handlebar. To increase the amount of gas you are feeding the engine, you need to roll the throttle with your right wrist toward you. To feed less gas to the engine, you have to rotate your wrist away from you. Always start the bike in a flat wrist position. This is important because it prevents you from grabbing a fist full of throttle. To understand what a flat wrist looks like, simply lay your arm on the table in front of you now with your palm facing down. Next, clench your fist without lifting your wrist, this is the wrist flat position.


Make sure your bike is in a neutral position before you try to shift gears.

  • STEP 1- Squeeze the clutch leaver in
  • STEP 2- Press down the shift gear to put your motorcycle into first gear. Tap down to get into a lower gear and up to get a higher gear.
  • STEP 3- Roll the throttle towards yourself starting from a flat wrist position
  • STEP 4- Gradually release the clutch leaver you squeezed in step 1. (Don’t release it suddenly.) As you are releasing the clutch, you also need to roll the throttle toward yourself accordingly.
  • STEP 5- Release the clutch fully and accelerate. Repeat the process from step 1 to shift to another gear.


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